The MSc dissertation is a research based enquiry into a management issue or issues with the aim of finding a solution to a problem or problems and/or identifying, explaining and analysing elements of good or bad practice in the management of human resources.


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with the skills and knowledge necessary to undertake an in-depth investigation within the field of Human Resource Management and to produce a 12,000 - 15,000 word dissertation.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  carry out research and produce a dissertation detailing the investigation and justifying appropriate conclusions and recommendations;

2.  apply critical thinking to the investigation of a clearly identified business issue of strategic relevance to the organisation by using relevant methods of enquiry

3.  apply theory into practice by reviewing relevant literature, collecting and analysing data and discussing the findings;

4.  work independently, plan and write a research-based piece of work.

5.  write a reflective account of what has been learned during the project and how this can be applied in the future

Indicative Content

1 Formulating research questions and hypotheses

Students are normally helped to think of and develop their own research topics, which in many cases are relevant to their career development and / or to the organisations they work for. They identify and describe a research problem.

2 Literature review

Students will have to carry out a library search, select relevant sources of information and review the literature appropriate to their research topic.

3 Research methodology

Students are expected to explain and defend their research methodology and the methods used in the collection and analysis of their data. This involves the design of a questionnaire and/or interview questions, and the use of appropriate tools of analysing quantitative and qualitative data. The study may also be literature review (desk) based and it has to be methodologically justified.

4 Presentation, analysis and discussion of findings

Students are expected to analyse their research data and present them as their research findings. The findings should be clearly presented using appropriate quantitative and qualitative research methods and then discussed in relation to the theoretical and practical issues relevant to the research topic.

5 Conclusions, recommendations and proposals for further research

Students are expected to provide a clear summary of the main issues covered in their study and to reconsider their research objectives to see the extent to which they have met them. They may make recommendations for the change or improvement of the business and management conditions, issues and phenomena studied. Finally they consider the limitations of their research and suggest proposals for further research.

6 Reflection

All students completing the MSc in IHRM are expected, as requested by the CIPD, to write a reflective account of their learning experience while undertaking the MSc programme explaining what they have learnt and how this can be applied in their future career as HR managers. Particular attention should be given to learning from other students (i.e team working, group projects, diversity and equality, internationalization, etc.), from the CIPD workshops (i.e putting theory into practice) and from working on the dissertation (i.e. independent learning, research inquiry, literature review, etc.).

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

After the successful completion of the Research Methods module, students would have acquired the necessary skills and knowledge of doing research and producing a dissertation.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 600
Lecture 2
Tutorial/Seminar 10
Supervised Practical Activity 12
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 100
Independent 476

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.